enterprise mobility management (EMM) definition

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: Enterprise architects' guide to success with mobile apps for business
Contributor(s): Colin Steele

Enterprise mobility management (EMM) is an all-encompassing approach to securing and enabling employee use of smartphones and tablets. In addition to addressing security concerns, a strong EMM strategy also helps employees be more productive by providing them with the tools they need to perform work-related tasks on mobile devices.

EMM typically involves some combination of mobile device management (MDM), mobile application management (MAM) and mobile information management (MIM). MDM focuses on locking down mobile devices, while MAM focuses on controlling which users can access which applications and MIM focuses on allowing only approved applications to access corporate data or transmit it.

These three technologies all address specific concerns, but do not provide complete solutions for the problems that enterprise mobility can cause or make worse. The overlap between MDM, MAM and MIM is actually quite minimal. The challenge lies in managing all three concerns with minimal overhead. As more organizations adopt enterprise mobility management, vendors have started to productize EMM, usually by adding MAM or MIM features to their MDM products or vice versa. An enterprise app store or other application delivery and deployment technology is also a common component of EMM products.

This was first published in July 2014

Next Steps

Learn how using mobile device management products can help secure the mobile devices employees are bringing into your organization. Then read about three enterprise use cases for MDM products and the key factors to consider before buying an MDM product for your organization.

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